Supreme Court Ayodhya-Ram temple verdict: The Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute on Saturday at 10.30 am. The Supreme Court will rule on appeals against the 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court, which ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres between the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and Ramlalla Virajman.
Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi held a meeting with Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and director general of police and took stock of security arrangements. All schools, colleges, educational institutions and training centres will be closed from Saturday to Monday across Uttar Pradesh.
The judgment on the issue, that has for decades been a religious and political flashpoint, was reserved on October 16 after a marathon hearing of 40 days before a five-judge Supreme Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S A Bobde, Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice S Abdul Nazeer.
Following the hearing, the SC-appointed mediation team had presented a proposal to the CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led Constitution Bench, detailing contours of a "settlement" agreed upon by "some parties". The Lucknow-based UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has agreed to a "no-objection" if the land on which the Babri Masjid once stood is acquired by the Centre.
In return for the NOC, the proposed "settlement" offers an institution for social harmony, ASI mosques being re-opened for namaz, repair of other Ayodhya mosques by the Centre and an alternate mosque of the Sunni Waqf Board.
During the hearing, the Hindu side argued that the structure was not a valid mosque according to the tenets of Islam while quoting the ASI reports that noted that inscriptions in the Devanagari script were found on the pillars of the mosque.
On the other hand, the Muslim side claimed that the disputed structure had been a mosque since the day it was constructed. They argued that even after the riots of 1934, namaz was offered and the Babri Masjid had an imam who led the prayers and a muezzin who recited the azaan.
Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc has already been clamped in Ayodhya to prevent any law and order situation in the aftermath of the verdict. The Ayodhya district administration has also issued an advisory asking people to be cautious and avoid engaging with any defamatory media posts that may disturb communal harmony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cautioned his council of ministers from making unnecessary statements on the Ayodhya issue. Earlier this week, BJP and RSS members met Muslim intellectuals and clerics at Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s residence and stressed that whichever way the verdict goes, excessive celebration or mourning should be avoided.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has already dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for security deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya.